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Advances in Omnichannel

Special issue call for papers from International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

Guest Editors:

Professor Michael Bourlakis, Chair in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and Head of the Logistics, Procurement & Supply Chain Management Group, Cranfield School of Management, UK,
[email protected]

Dr Soroosh Saghiri, Senior Lecturer, Cranfield School of Management, UK,
[email protected]

(Centre for Logistics & Supply Chain Management, Cranfield School of Management)

In the “age of customer impatience” (Daugherty, Bolumole and Grawe, 2019, in press), retail supply chains are experiencing major transformations: from physical to digital products/processes; from off-line to on-line and mobile shopping; from conventional demand fulfilment to home delivery, click & collect, and mobile delivery; and from physical, resource-based economy to digital platform economy. These transformations have re-shaped the structure and processes of retail supply chains to what is known today as omni-channel, where customers can find, buy, receive and return products via various, well-integrated and visible channels.

Research on omni-channel has been in its early stages till very recently. Omni-channel research has mainly concentrated on explorative and conceptual studies that describe, develop and define omni-channel as a new phenomenon in the logistics and supply chain management discipline (see inter alia, Ailawadi and Farris, 2017; Hübner et al., 2016; Melacini et al., 2018; Saghiri et al., 2017; Verhoef et al., 2015). However, innovative customer service practices in B2B and B2C fulfilment management, supply/distribution planning, and logistics design are rapidly gaining momentum, thereby raising the profile of integrated supply chain and logistics in the omni-channel research (Bernon et al., 2016; Ishfaq et al., 2016; Murfield et al., 2017). This momentum is evidenced by recent IJPDLM special issues focusing on retail logistics (2016) and omni-channel logistics (2018) also edited by members of the Cranfield logistics and supply chain management research team (see Saghiri et al. 2018). 

In view of these developments in omni-channel research and practice (and building on the previous special issue on omni-channel logistics) this Special Issue intends to contribute to this growing field of research by showcasing case studies and empirical studies that highlight the latest managerial practices and developments in omni-channel. Accordingly, the Special Issue seeks to enhance current understanding of omni-channel operations and strategies by identifying and describing major drivers, enablers, barriers, influential factors or requirements of omni-channel.  The Special Issue seeks case studies and  empirical research that address omni-channel implementations in various sectors and different stages of supply and demand chains, to provide a comprehensive view of omni-channel in practice. The Special Issue is expected to furnish a broader, more thorough insight for omni-channel regarding questions like:

  • Which structures of the supply chain support omni-channel?
  • What are the operational and strategic implications of moving toward the omni-channel?
  • What are the major barriers and challenges in the implementation of omni-channel?
  • What are the implications of omni-channel for supply chain information systems and supply chain operations?
  • How the new trends in digital platform economy and disruptive manufacturing may affect omni-channel structures and process?
  • What are the managerial practices followed by supply chain members in connection with omni-channel?

The wider research community is invited to submit their latest results in the above or closely related areas. Insightful and original application oriented studies that add significantly to the omni-channel existing body of knowledge are particularly encouraged.

The recommended methodologies mainly comprise case study, empirical survey, action research, and experiment research, with qualitative or quantitative data. Both cross-functional and longitudinal studies are welcomed to this special issue.

Manuscripts should be prepared following the normal guidelines for International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management and may be submitted through the journal's online system: Scholar One Manuscript Central. Please ensure you check the “Advances in Omni-channel special issue” option when submitting your manuscript).  Details on how to submit and the author guidelines can be found at:

Manuscripts should be submitted between 1st and 31stJanuary 2019 and publication is anticipated in 2020.

All submitted papers deemed topically appropriate will undergo the standard International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management review process. For questions on topicality, please contact any of the Guest Editors below.


Ailawadi, K. L., & Farris, P. W. (2017). Managing multi-and omni-channel distribution: metrics and research directions. Journal of Retailing93(1), 120-135.

Bernon, M., Cullen, J., & Gorst, J. (2016). Online retail returns management: Integration within an omni-channel distribution context. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management46(6/7), 584-605.

Daugherty, P. J., Bolumole, Y., & Grawe S. J. (2019), The new age of customer impatience:  an    agenda for reawakening logistics customer service research. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, forthcoming.

Hübner, A., Wollenburg, J., & Holzapfel, A. (2016). Retail logistics in the transition from multi-channel to omni-channel. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management46(6/7), 562-583.

Ishfaq, R., Defee, C. C., Gibson, B. J., & Raja, U. (2016). Realignment of the physical distribution process in omni-channel fulfillment. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management46(6/7), 543-561.

Melacini, M., Perotti, S., Rasini, M., & Tappia, E. (2018). E-fulfilment and distribution in omni-channel retailing: a systematic literature review. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management48(4), 391-414.

Murfield, M., Boone, C. A., Rutner, P., & Thomas, R. (2017). Investigating logistics service quality in omni-channel retailing. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management47(4), 263-296.

Saghiri, S., Wilding, R., Mena, C., & Bourlakis, M. (2017). Toward a three-dimensional framework for omni-channel. Journal of Business Research77, 53-67.

Saghiri, S., Bernon, M., Bourlakis, M. & Wilding, R. (2018). Omni channel logistics special issue. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management48(4), 362-364.

Verhoef, P. C., Kannan, P. K., & Inman, J. J. (2015). From multi-channel retailing to omni-channel retailing: introduction to the special issue on multi-channel retailing. Journal of Retailing91(2), 174-181.